1. a person or thing that stings.
  2. an animal or plant having a stinging organ.
  3. the sting or stinging organ of an insect or other animal.
  4. Informal. a stinging blow, remark, or the like.
  5. a cocktail made of brandy and crème de menthe.
  6. (initial capital letter) Military. a U.S. Army shoulder-launched, heat-seeking antiaircraft missile, with a range of 3 miles (5 km).
  7. British Informal. a highball of whiskey and soda.

Origin of stinger

First recorded in 1545–55; sting + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stinger

Contemporary Examples of stinger

Historical Examples of stinger

  • He looked at it so closely that he did not miss even the stinger.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • It sized up like a bad case of bee bite with me at the wrong end of the stinger.

    Torchy and Vee

    Sewell Ford

  • He shot them both and then killed the stinger that was pecking at his shins.

    Cat and Mouse

    Ralph Williams

  • There was no rumble on the Stinger, only a baggage rack and boot.


    Robert W. Chambers

  • My word, it was a stinger—just like as if twenty thousand wasps was at you.

    Jack at Sea

    George Manville Fenn

British Dictionary definitions for stinger


  1. trademark a device, consisting of a long track of raised spikes, laid across a road by police to puncture the tyres of escaping vehicles


  1. a person, plant, animal, etc, that stings or hurts
  2. Australian any marine creature that stings its victims, esp the box jellyfish
  3. Also: stengah a whisky and soda with crushed ice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for stinger

1550s, agent noun from sting (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stinger in Science


  1. A sharp stinging organ, such as that of a bee, scorpion, or stingray. Stingers usually inject venom.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.